News: The Lancashire Constabulary...

The Lancashire Constabulary PR team field calls from the media every five to ten minutes

The Lancashire Constabulary PR team field calls from the media every

five to ten minutes

Jubilee Line Extension Project

In March 1998, the Docklands will join the London Underground network

accompanied by all the fanfare that its 14-strong PR team can muster.

The Jubilee Extension Line PR office has been up and running in one form

or another since November 1989. Dual teams of Parlia-mentary liaison and

PR officers talked through objections, and queries from interested

parties. In 1992, when the Royal Assent was given, the Parliamentary

team was wound down, and the PR team expanded to its current level of 14

staff, under the leadership of Richard Humphries.

The team operates on an annual pounds 1 million budget, which includes a

media department headed by Jan Critchley. A dedicated video officer Ed

Cooper and photography officer Gabrielle Owtram produce VNRs, videos and

shots, which might otherwise prove tricky for the media to obtain.

But what becomes of the PR complement when the last drill has broken

through to Canary Wharf? According to Critchley, the main building works

are scheduled for completion by the middle of next year, but the PR

department will see the project through to the grand opening in 1998.

Lancashire Constabulary

With more than 3,000 police officers plus 1,880 civilian staff, the

Lancashire Constabulary is the eighth largest police force in the UK.

The fact that its communications are handled by a staff of three is all

the more impressive.

Located at force headquarters in Preston under the community affairs

department, Lancashire’s PR team is headed by Peter Lovett-Horn with

support from assistant officers Caroline Emberton and Roger Blaxall.

Lovett-Horn reports to superintendent David Jones.

All three PR officers handle media enquiries on a variety of

constabulary issues. These inevitably include criminal matters, but also

local community projects and special events. In addition, the community

affairs department manages publicity for Pauline Clare, the only female

chief constable in Britain, who was appointed to Lancashire’s top post

last year.

Blaxall reckons that the press team receives calls from the media every

five to ten minutes. Most come from county newspapers and the regional

press in nearby Manchester, although national publications and news

agencies are also kept up to date with the latest developments.

A six-month internal review of the workings of the Lancashire

Constabulary is due out this month. This could lead to the press team

becoming a separate department in its own right reporting directly to

Pauline Clare or an assistant chief constable.

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